Hilaire Belloc’s Memorable 1911 Depiction of a Sussex Squire: Fuller of Brightling

One year after Hilaire Belloc’s four-year term in the British House of Commons (1906-1910), he published The Four Men: A Farrago (1911), wherein he memorably depicts the robust and eccentric and magnanimously generous Squire Fuller of Brightling, an honored native of the County of Sussex, Belloc’s own beloved county. A larger than life figure himself, Squire Fuller (d. 1834) had also been a Member of Parliament, as well as a Captain in the Sussex Yeomanry Cavalry.

This 1911 book covers the interval of 29 October 1902-2 November 1902 (All Souls’ Day). The vivid depiction of the historical figure, Squire John (“Mad Jack”) Fuller (1757-1834), occurs early in The Four Men, on 30 October 1902—while three of the personified four men are still in East Sussex—soon to meet the Poet—and together on the way on foot to the western border of the County of Sussex some four days away.

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